Introduction: 3DPrintMi - Assembly Guide

Picture of 3DPrintMi - Assembly Guide

New Printer Design Available

Please check out the next iterative design of the 3DPrintMi

Aluminum 3DPrintMi

3DPrintMi is an open source, Reprap 3D Printer designed and built from the ground up. As part of the Reprap movement, it has the ability to self replicate by printing a portion of itself and assembled together with fasteners.

For more information, please visit the links listed below:

After building my first 3D printer, the Printrbot+, I wanted to donate aka "Print It Forward" a set of plastic parts and share the 3D printing experience to someone else. There are many Reprap printers out there, readily available to download and print but it's not as easy as it sounds. Most of the documentations to build a Reprap are hard to follow, incomplete or non-existent and can be simply overwhelming for a newbie. After weeks of searching for a suitable Reprap printer to donate, I became more and more interested in designing my own. Something that's easy to build, print and provide all the documentation to do it. After much debate, I decided to do just that, build my own printer. Well, after 6 months of printing, iterating and more printing, 3DPrintMi was born! I have built two 3DPrintMi so far and wish to see it built elsewhere around the world.

Getting Started
This guide will provide you the step-by-step instructions on how to assemble the printer's frame, assuming that the user has already pre-assembled the electronics before hand. I highly recommend you review the pictorial guide to get a good sense of what to expect. The pictures are self explanatory and the written instructions are there to aid the assembly. Now let's have some fun!

Step 1: Bill of Material

Picture of Bill of Material

Download and review the Bill of Material
To acquire the printed parts files, download here.

Before you start buying the materials, you will need to complete the BOM by selecting the desired selections based on your preferable budget, setup and convenience in sourcing the parts. The options are highlighted in orange and the parts will auto-update the price and source link so take your time selecting your material.

Sourcing the printed parts may be a bit tricky since you will have to search around for someone or someplace with a 3D Printer. Look around if there's a local Hackerspace nearby, most likely they have 3D Printers that you can use or pay someone to print them for you. If you can't find anyone, PM me and I can work something out.

Update 6/11/13
A few people are having trouble finding someone with 3D Printers. I can list a few places to help aid the process.

List of Hackerspaces
Go to the Reprap Forum and locate a reprapper near you

Update 7/1/13
- Changed M6 x 120mm to 110mm. No vendors offer M6 x 120mm in fully threaded form, only up to 110mm. It's barely long enough so M6 washers can be disregarded in order for the M6 nuts to catch.
- Added Brainwave to the list of optional PCB board to choose from.
- Changed a few source links and price adjustments

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools

- Digital Caliper
- Wire cutter (to cut zip ties)
- Needle nose plier
- Slip joint plier
- 2.5mm Hex screw (3/32")
- 2mm Hex screw (5/64")

**The digital caliper is the most essential tool you will need when assembling and for printing.**

Step 3: Know You Printed Parts

Picture of Know You Printed Parts

These are the parts that make up the printer. They are ready to be downloaded and printed on any 3d printer that has a build area of at least 152mm x 152mm (6" x 6")

The Printed parts are listed as follows:
1 1 Y End Motor
2 1 Y End Idler
3 1 Y Carriage_A
4 1 Y Carriage_B
5 1 X End Motor
6 1 X End Idler
7 1 X Carriage
8 1 Extruder mount
9 2 Frame Brace
10 1 Z Endstop - Knob Housing
11 1 Z Endstop - Endstop Housing
12 2 Z Housing
13 2 Z Rod Brace
14 4 Z Coupling
15 2 Top Z Stabilizer
16 2 Endstop mount
17 5 Knob
18 2 Belt Idler 608

Update 6/9/13
A small note for reprappers who are planning to print this. If you are using a 152mm x 152mm print bed, the Y Carriage A & B might be a challenge to print only if you are not utilizing your entire print area. You must calibrate you print area and orientate the part at a diagonal.

If you are plan on using the QU-BD MBE extruder, the Extruder Mount should be printed in ABS, not PLA. The clearance from the hotend to the Extruder Mount is rather close and might melt the PLA. Should be ok is using Jhead style hotend.

Step 4: Subassembly - Pulley

Picture of Subassembly - Pulley

2 - Belt Idler 608
2 - 608 Skate Bearing

1. Insert the 608 Skate Bearing into the Belt Idler all the way.

Step 5: Subassembly - Endstop Mount

Picture of Subassembly - Endstop Mount

2 - Endstop Mount
2 - M3 Hex nut

1. Insert M3 Hex nut into the Endstop Mount.

Step 6: Subassembly - Knob

Picture of Subassembly - Knob

5 - Knob
5 - M3 Hex nut

1. Insert and press M3 Hex nut into each Knob.

Step 7: Subassembly - Z Endstop

Picture of Subassembly - Z Endstop

1 - Z End Stop - Knob Housing
1 - Z End Stop - Endstop housing
1 - Assembled Knob
1 - M3 Socket x 25mm
1 - M3 Hex nut
1 - Compessible spring

1. Insert M3 Socket x 25mm into the Endstop housing
2. Thread M3 Hex nut to the M3 Socket up the hex nut trap
3. Tighten M3 socket, flush to the housing
4. Insert Spring
5. Take the Knob Housing and insert it through the M3 socket
6. Take the assembled knob and install.

Step 8: Subassembly - X Carriage

Picture of Subassembly - X Carriage

1 - X Carriage
6 - M3 Hex nut
3 - LM8UU (Optional to install now, can wait until later on)

1. Install 6 M3 Hex nut in nut traps

Step 9: Sub Assembly - Z Housing

Picture of Sub Assembly - Z Housing

2 - Z Housing
8 - M3 Hex nut

1. Install M3 Hex nut inside the nut traps.

Step 10: Subassembly - Z Motor

Picture of Subassembly - Z Motor

2 - Nema17 set for Z
2 - Vinyl tubing

1. Install vinyl tubing over the 5mm shaft of the Nema17.
2. Make sure the vinyl tube is flush against the tip of the shaft.
3. Both Nema17s should be wired together.

Step 11: Subassembly - X End Motor

Picture of Subassembly - X End Motor

1 - X End Motor
2 - LM8UU
2 - Zip tie

1. Insert both LM8UUs into the housing.
2. Secure LM8UUs with zip ties.

Step 12: Subassembly - X End Idler

Picture of Subassembly - X End Idler

1 - X End Idler
2 - LM8UU
2 - Zip ties
1 - Assembled Belt Idler 608
1 - M8 Bolt x 30mm (5/16" x 1/4" Bolt)
2 - M8 Hex nut (5/16" Hex nut)
2 - M8 washer (1/4" washer)

1. Insert M8 x 30mm into the Pulley Idler housing
2. Insert M8 washer
3. Insert M8 Hex nut
4. Insert assembled belt idler 608 as shown in picture. Make note of the orientation of the belt idler
5. Insert M8 washer
6. Insert and tigten M8 Hex nut
7. Flip X End Idler and insert both LM8UU into the housing
8. Zip tie LM8UU and secure tightly
9. Insert rod to ensure smooth movement. Adjust slightly to make them slide.

Step 13: Subassembly - Y End Idler

Picture of Subassembly - Y End Idler

1 - Y End Idler
1 - Assembled Belt Idler 608
1 - M8 Bolt x 30mm (5/16" x 1-1/4" Bolt)
4 - M8 washer (1/4" washer)
1 - M8 Hex nut (5/16" hex nut)

1. Insert M8 x 30mm into the assembled Belt idler 608, take note of the orientation.
2. Install 3 M8 Washers on the other end of the Belt Idler 608, enough washers to be past flush against the belt idler.
3. Insert partially assembled M8 x 30mm into the Y End Idler's pulley housing
4. Install M8 washer from the bottom
5. Install and tighten M8 Hex nut

Step 14: Subassembly - Z Coupler

Picture of Subassembly - Z Coupler

4 - Z Coupler
8 - M3 Socket x 18mm
8 - M3 Hex nut
8 - M3 washers (Optional)

1. Insert 8 M3 Hex nuts into the Z Coupler's nut traps
2. OPTIONAL: Install 8 M3 Washers into each M3 Sockets
3. Orientate the Z Coupler and Insert 8 M3 Socket x 18mm
4. Do not tighten

Step 15: Subassembly - Y Carriage

Picture of Subassembly - Y Carriage

1 - Y Carriage_A
1 - Y Carriage_B
4 - LM8UU
2 - M6 Bolt x 110mm (1/4" x 5" Bolt)
8 - M6 Hex nut (1/4" Hex nut)
6 - M6 Washer (#18-8 Washer)

1. Insert both M6 Bolt x 110mm into Y Carriage_A
2. Insert M6 Washer per bolt
3. Insert and tigthen M6 Hex nut per bolt
4. Insert M6 Hex nut per bolt
5. Insert M6 Washer per bolt
6. Insert Y Carriage_B
7. Configure the Y Carriage 47.1mm (1.85 inches) apart edge to edge, use drawing for reference.
8. Insert M6 Washer per bolt
9. Insert and tighten M6 Hex nut per bolt
10. Insert 4 LM8UU into the bearing housing
11. Insert linear rods to ensure smooth travel.


Changed M6 x 120mm to 110mm. 120mm M6 bolts do not come in a fully threaded form, only up to 110mm. You can either fully thread the partially threaded 120mm M6 or use the 1/4" x 5" equivalent. If using 110mm M6, do not use washer at the end of the bolt.

Step 16: Subassembly - Build Plate

Picture of Subassembly -  Build Plate

There are two setups for the build plate, one for PLA only and the other for both PLA and ABS. Each setup will require pre-fabrication of parts to complete the build plate assembly.

PLA ONLY setup
Printing with PLA does not require a heatbed since it does not have the tendency to shrink and curl during a print. An aluminum or wooden plate can be used but will need to be cut down to 152mm x 152mm(6" x 6") and mounting holes drilled to fit on the Y Carriage. It is optional to install a glass plate on top for a flatter surface.
ABS & PLA setup
The PCB Heatbed is primarily used for ABS to prevent it from curling prematurely during a print but it can also be used for PLA by simply turning off the heatbed. This setup recommends the use of a glass plate and an insulation board.

For this setup, I use the PCB Heatbed/boriscillate glass plate as my build area. I prefer this setup because you do not need to perform any pre-fabricated work besides clipping the boriscillate glass' corners and simply cutting a piece of cardboard for insulation.

UPDATE 9/13/2013
Procedure to u pscale to 200mm x 200m (8" x 8") PCB Heat bed below

- The PCB Heatbed should come with a pre-wired 100k thermistor, needed to measure the temperature.
- 100k thermistor should be secured with Kapton tape on the back of the PCB Heatbed, use thermal paste.
- Insulation material will need to withstand a temperature of up to 100 Celsius.

1 - 152mm x 152mm(6" x 6") PCB Heatbed
1 - 152mm x 152mm(6" x 6") Boriscillate glass (Need to clip corners to fit)
1 - Insulation board (optional)
1 - Sub-assembled Y Carriage
4 - Sub-assembled Knob
4 - M3 socket x 25mm
4 - M3 Washers
4 - Compressible spring
4 - Binder Clips

1. Apply thermal compound and Install 100k thermistor on the back of the PCB Heatbed with Kapton Tape
2. Install Insulation board on the back of the PCB Heatbed, covering the 100k thermistor
3. Carefully clip all 4 corners of the glass plate
4. Place glass plate on top of the PCB Heatbed
5. Secure glass plate and insulation board with binder clips
6. Insert M3 Washers into each M3 socket x 25mm
7. Insert M3 socket x 25mm into the corners of the PCB Heatbed
8. Insert compressible springs to each M3 socket x 25mm
9. Install the assembled Y Carriage onto the PCB Heatbed and secure with assembled knobs
10. Insert 8mm drill rod to ensure smooth travel.

3DPrintMi Plus Build Plate configuration

Additional Materials

1 - 200mm x 200mm(8" x 8") PCB Heatbed
1 - 200mm x 200mm(8" x 8") Boriscillate glass
2 - Y Carriage Extenders_A
2 - Y Carriage Extenders_B
8 - M3 socket x 18mm
8 - M3 Washers
8 - M3 Nuts

1. Press fit Y Carriage Extenders onto the 4 corners of the Y Carriage A & B. Sand down if necessary to make the parts fit.
2. Fasten Y Carriage Extenders with the M3 socket x 18mm
4. Follow the rest of the procedure above
3. Use pictorial guide for reference

Step 17: Assembly - Y Gantry

Picture of Assembly - Y Gantry

1 - Assembled Y End Motor
1 - Assembled Y End Idler
4 - M8 Threaded Rod x 450mm (5/16" x 18" Threaded Rod)
24 - M8 Hex nut (5/16" Hex nut)
16 - M8 Washer (1/4" Washer)

1. Match the M8 Hex nut and washers positions for each threaded rods shown in the pictorial guide
2. Install the threaded rods to the Y End Idler & Motor
3. To keep the rods evenly spaced, measure 40mm from the end of the threaded rods to the back side of the Y End Idler.

- Hand tighten the nuts only, you will need to adjust them later.
- Follow the pictorial guide.

Step 18: Assembly - Frame Brace

Picture of Assembly - Frame Brace

UPDATE 9/13/2013
For 3DPrintMi Plus configuration, follow the Plus size Base Frame dimensions in the pictorial guide

2 - Frame Brace

1. Install both Frame Brace to the Y Gantry shown in the picture below.
2. Set the distance 90mm (3.50 inches) between the edge of the Frame Brace facing the Y End Idler to the front face of the Y End idler. Measure from the top and bottom of the parts to make the Y End Idler perpendicular.
3. Set the distance 144mm (5.75 inches) from the edge of the Frame Brace facing the Y End Motor to the front face of the Y End Motor.
4. Tighten all nuts with wrench

- Configure the Base Frame's dimensions by referring to the drawing
- Use digital caliper to measure the distance
- Refer to pictorial guide to visual the assembly

Step 19: Assembly - YZ Brace

Picture of Assembly - YZ Brace

UPDATE 9/13/2013
For 3DPrintMi Plus configuration, follow the Plus size Base Frame dimensions in the pictorial guide

2 - Assembled Z Housing
2 - M8 Threaded Rod x 400mm (5/16" x 16" Threaded Rod)
16 - M8 Hex nut (5/16" Hex nut)
16 - M8 Washer (1/4" Washer)

1. Match the M8 Hex nut and washers positions for each threaded rods shown in the pictorial guide
2. Insert both assembled threaded rod between the Y Gantry, place outside of Frame Brace
3. Starting the the first assembled threaded rod closest to the Y End Idler, hand tighten the hex nuts to the Frame Brace, refer to pictorial guide.
4. Insert the Z Housing to each end of the assembled threaded rod
5.To keep the rods evenly spaced, measure 40mm from the end of the threaded rods to the base of the Z Housing
6. Insert and hand tighten the second assembled threaded to the Frame Brace and Z Housings
7. Set the distance 90mm (3.50 inches) between the side wall of the Frame Brace to the front face of the Z Housing. Measure from the top and bottom of the parts to make the Y End Idler perpendicular.
8. Tighten all nuts with plier

- Configure the Base Frame's dimensions by referring to the drawing
- Use digital caliper to measure the distance
- Refer to pictorial guide to visual the assembly

Step 20: Assembly - Build Plate

Picture of Assembly - Build Plate

1 - Assembled Build Plate
2 - 8mm drill rod x 450mm
4 - M3 x 18mm
4 - M3 Hex nut

1. Insert both 8mm drill rod x 450mm to the assembled Build Plate
2. Drop the Build Plate's 8mm drill rods into the Y End Idler and Motor's clamp. Refer to pictorial guide.
3. To keep the drill rods evenly spaced, measure 40mm from the end of the rods to the base of the Y End idler
4. Insert M3 x 18mm into each clamp
5. Install and tighten M3 Hex nut

Step 21: Assembly - Y Linear Drive

Picture of Assembly - Y Linear Drive

1 - Nema17 Motor with machined or printed GT2 Pulley
1 - GT2 belt
2 - M3 socket x 10mm
2 - M3 washer
2 - Zip ties

1. Install Nema17 motor to the Y End Motor with M3 socket x 10mm and washers, refer to pictorial guide
2. Flip the Base Frame, place towel underneath to protect the build plate
3. Follow the pictorial guide to install the GT2 belt, tighten the belt as much as you can
4. When wrapping the belt around the Belt Pulley 608, flip it to the flat side of the belt. Refer to pictorial guide (This prevents the Y linear travel from "bouncing" due to the GT2 belt's teeth riding over the flat surface of the Belt Pulley. Not flipping the belt will result in wavy prints on the Y axis.)
5. OPTIONAL: Cut the extra GT2 belt off or wrap around the Y Carriage if you want to keep it. It is better to keep the extra length in case you want to increase the frame size.

Step 22: Assembly - Z Motor

Picture of Assembly - Z Motor

2 - Nema17 Motor set for Z
4 - M3 socket x 10mm
4 - M3 washer

1. Install Nema17 Motor with two M3 socket x 10mm and two washers per Z Housings

- Follow pictorial guide for reference
- Wires should be facing the center of the Base Frame

Step 23: Assembly - Z Rod Brace

Picture of Assembly - Z Rod Brace

2 - Z Rod Brace
2 - 8mm x 450mm drill rod
8 - M3 socket x 18mm
8 - M3 washer

1. Insert all M3 washers to each M3 socket x 18mm
2. Insert M3 socket x 18mm with washers to the Z Rod Brace
3. Install 8mm x 450mm drill rod into the Z Housing
4. Install and tighten the Z Rod Brace into the Z Housing
5. Do for both sides

- Follow pictorial guide for reference

Step 24: Assembly - Lead Screw

Picture of Assembly - Lead Screw

2 - Assembled Z Coupling
2 - M8 Threaded rod x 300mm (5/16" x 12" Threaded rod)
2 - M8 Hex nut (5/16" Hex nut)

1. Insert assembled Z Coupling with the larger diameter hole to the shaft of the Nema17 Z motors.
2. Make sure the Z Coupling is flushed with the smaller diameter hole and tighten the bottom M3 sockets but not all the way. Leave some slack to allow the Z Coupling to move around.
3. Install M8 Hex nut to each of the M8 threaded rod about
4. Insert M8 Threaded rod x 300mm into the top of the Z Coupling, tighten the top M3 sockets.

- Z Coupling around the vinyl tube should have some degree of movement to prevent over-constraining the Lead Axis
- 1/4"-16 acme rods are direct replacement for M8 (5/16")
- M6 Threaded rods for lead screws requires a Z coupling designed to accept 6mm and a M8 to M6 nut adapter

Step 25: Assembly - X Gantry

Picture of Assembly - X Gantry

1 - Assembled X End Idler
1 - Assembled X End Motor
2 - 8mm drill rod x 450mm
3 - LM8UU

1. Insert both 8mm drill rod x 450mm into the X End Idler, make sure the Belt Idler is on the outside as shown in the picture
2. Insert 2 LM8UU on the top drill rod and 1 LM8UU on the bottom
3.Insert the X End Motor on the other end of the 8mm drill rods
4. Line up the LM8UU bearings on the X Ends with the Z axis drill rod
5. Drop the X Gantry onto the Z axis drill rod, make sure the lead screw goes through the Z nut housing
6. Push the hex nut installed on the lead screw until fully seated inside the nut housing

Step 26: Assembly - X Carriage

Picture of Assembly - X Carriage

1 - Assembled X Carriage

1. Insert the LM8UU on the X gantry to the X Carriage.

Step 27: Assembly - Extruder Mount

Picture of Assembly - Extruder Mount

MBE style extruder setup
1 - Extruder Mount
2 - M3 socket x 25mm
2 - M3 socket x 10mm
4 - M3 washer

1. Insert M3 washer to M3 sockets
2. Insert two M3 socket x 25mm at the top and two M3 socket x 10mm at the bottom of the Extruder Mount
3. Install Extruder Mount onto the lower side of the X Carriage, refer to pictorial guide

Wade Extruder setup

1 - Extruder Mount
4 - M3 socket x 25mm
4 - M3 washer

1. Insert M3 washer to M3 sockets
2. Insert four M3 socket x 25mm on the Extruder Mount
3. Install Extruder Mount onto the upper side of the X Carriage, refer to pictorial guide

Step 28: Assembly - Z Stabilizer

Picture of Assembly - Z Stabilizer

2 - Top Z Stabilizer
1 - M8 x 400mm Threaded rod
4 - M8 Hex nut
4 - M8 washer
2 - M3 socket x 18mm
2 - M3 Hex nut
4 - M3 washers

1. Insert M3 washer into M3 x 18mm
2. Insert M3 socket x 18mm in each Top Z Stabilizer
3. Install M3 washer and hex nut, hand tighten
4. Insert Top Z Stabilizers on the Z axis drill rod
5. Insert M8 nuts and washers on the M8 x 400mm Threaded rod, refer to pictorial guide for positions
6. Drop the M8 x 400mm threaded rod on top of the Z Top Stabilizers, tighten all nuts and bolts.

Step 29: Assembly - X Linear Drive

Picture of Assembly - X Linear Drive

1 - Nema17 with GT2 pulley
1 - GT2 belt pulley
4 - M3 socket x 10mm
4 - M3 washer
2 - Zip ties

1. Insert M3 washers into each M3 socket x 10mm
2. Install Nema17 and tighten all M3 sockets
3. Install GT2 belt, follow pictorial guide

Step 30: Assembly - X & Y Endstop

Picture of Assembly - X & Y Endstop

2 - assembled Endstop
2 - Pre-assembled mechanical endstop
2 - Zip tie
2 - M3 socket x 18mm

1. Zip tie each mechanical endstop to the printed Endstop, refer to pictorial guide for positioning
2. Mount the first Endstop to the drill rod closest to the Y End Idler, tighten with M3 socket x 18mm
3. Mount the second Endstop to the drill rod closest to the X End Motor, tighten with M3 socket x 18mm

Step 31: Assembly - Z Endstop

Picture of Assembly - Z Endstop

1 - Assembled Z Endstop
1 - Pre-assembled mechanical endstop
1 - M3 socket x 18mm
1 - M3 hex nut

1. Snap fit the assembled Z Endstop
2. Install mechanical endstop to the printed Endstop
3. Insert M3 socket x 18mm and and tighten with M3 hex nut

Step 32: Future Plans

Welcome to the end of the guide! I hope this instructable has aided you in building the 3DPrintMi from sourced parts to a full blown 3D Printer. I did not get the opportunity to document the electronic assembly since I already done this previously. Buying another set of electronics is a lot more expensive than the hardware to build the machine. Check out the Reprap wiki/forums to find documentations in wiring your 3D Printer. Some vendors sell electronic kits, giving all the wires and connectors pre-assembled.

I will edit the instructable here and there to fix anything that's wrong and add more information if needed.

Good luck and happy printing!


greenaar (author)2015-04-18

I am midway through building one of these -- for the idlers however i'm considering replacing the printed roller with a sandwich of 8mm washer, oversized washer, 8mm washer, bearing, 8mm washer, oversized washer, 8mm washer, nut. I think that might spin a bit more freely, but i'll know shortly.

The bits I've been able to assemble thusfar have gone together well. Decent documentation.

I saw mention you'd made an aluminum extrusion model -- any plans to release instructions for that?

gyronictonic (author)greenaar 2015-04-21

The 8mm washers sandwich can work since it's been done with other repraps. Glad the instructions have been helpful with your build.

I still plan to release the documentations with the aluminum extrusion model. I've been caught up with other things in life eventually it will end up on the web.

wrister05 (author)2014-10-05

Hey! I am planning on building this with a few of my friends and was wondering where the full BOM list was. I see the link to it but i dont see the BOM on that link. All I see is the list of the 3D printed parts. Also, can you post a link on how you set up the electronics?

gmendez3 (author)2014-08-15

Hi!!! Im Gus from México City, tomorrow we are doing a massive 3D Printer Building party and we choose to build not 1 but 8 printers like this one! I´m sending you the photos of the event and everything. Thanks for sharing.

affiaymen (author)2014-07-21

Hi thanks for the post it's really helpful !
I made my 3d printer but I'm having troubles with powering the ramps 1.4 card.
It's not moving and I think it's a power problem.
12volt with 2 am can work?
I don't have a heating bed, can it work?

sttaaannnnoooo (author)affiaymen2014-08-10

With your setup you need at least 5a but I recommended buying 20a because that's enough even if you have heated bed and I guess you will buy heated bed in future.

kali16 (author)2014-02-01

hi gyro what will be the cost of the entire unit , i want one for my home use

profort (author)2013-09-28

How much did it cost for the parts that were not made by other repraps please?

gyronictonic (author)profort2013-09-28

Do you need mean the non printed parts (hardware) or plastic parts that's not 3d printed?

profort (author)gyronictonic2013-09-30

The non-printed also please.

profort (author)2013-09-27

I was wondering about the total cost, because it is hard to find anyone able to sell me the printed parts inexpensively. Also, how much would it cost to have the plastic parts printed and shipped to the continental 48 please?

The ed (author)2013-09-02

This is great, can I use it for my Final Year Project?

gyronictonic (author)The ed2013-09-03

Yea man, go for it!

Typpa (author)2013-08-31

Hi Gyro ... I love your 3D Printer ... I live in Torino - Italy ... I not reprappers in Torino ... Is possible buy only Full set of printing materials ? Thanks

Ricardo Furioso (author)2013-06-09

Is anyone making kits? I'd love to find one. Thanks for a great Instructable.

No kits yet but I could start putting kits together. This is a open source reprap so hopefully other reprappers will start selling kits at a competitive price!

zenTaurus (author)gyronictonic2013-06-22

kits would really be very helpful for people (like me ^_^) in places where resources (material and human) for this project are very limited.

excellent instructable -- thanks and cheers!

gyronictonic (author)zenTaurus2013-06-24

I am going to start putting kits together. It may take a while since it's just me but PM me if anyone is still interested.

How about an instructable on PM-ing?

ironcladmvtm (author)2013-06-18

Great instructable! Been looking for a bot to build! Started printing the parts today! cant wait to assemble it.

Electroinnovation (author)2013-06-14

3d printing a 3d printer, brilliant! Although somewhat difficult to obtain if you don't have a 3d printer already lol

Pavelos (author)2013-06-12

Awesome guide, thank you! I'll definitely start this project as soon as possible. Problem is that here in Finland is very hard to find place with 3D Printer for printable parts.

gyronictonic (author)Pavelos2013-06-13

Try asking around here for other reprappers around you

lsilva14 (author)2013-06-12

awesome tutorial!

Which extruder did you use? can you sahare the plans or was it bought?

And the control board?

gyronictonic (author)lsilva142013-06-12

I used the modified QU-BD MBE as my extruder. It has the lever mod and a tapped raptor gear.

For the control board, i used the Printrboard

Jon_M (author)2013-06-12

I was super excited to see this instructable. I was a bit less excited when I saw that I'd have to have access to a 3-d printer to build this 3-d printer. I'm in no mans land when it comes to a shared workspace and I don't have the funds to buy a 3-d printer (alas the interest in building my own). Is there a way to buy the printed parts pre printed for this project?

gyronictonic (author)Jon_M2013-06-12

Sorry for the let down, reprap is geared towards the idea of building a 3d printers with printed parts. What you may be expecting is something called repstrap which is building a 3d printer with non printed parts. You can get printed parts from someone with a 3d printer around the world or i can print you one. Pm me so i can give you quote.

rhidalgo27 (author)2013-06-12

Te felicito, el diseño es excelente pero tengo una duda y la electronica?...los circuitos??? donde podemos conseguirlos?, gracias.

jkolar1 (author)2013-06-12


Me and my friend really liked your 3d Printer so we decided to build a copy of yours 3dPrintMI during summer holidays. We come from Slovenia, Europe ( ) and here we don't have much resources for this project. In your Bills of Material you included some 3d printed parts which we can't print if we dont have any 3d printer around or if we try to print it via local 3d printing store it too expensive like 1000$. So I would like to ask you if you have any suggestions about that, if there are any internet sites which craft 3d parts for you or if you could printed these parts for us?

We would be really happy if you can help us.

Have a nice day,

Janez and Aleš

madmatt8 (author)2013-06-12

Hi, There are a few types of digital calipers. Which one should I buy?
1108-150 ELECTRONIC CALIPER 150mm/6"
1108-200 ELECTRONIC CALIPER 200mm/8"
1108-300 ELECTRONIC CALIPER 300mm/12"?


gyronictonic (author)madmatt82013-06-12

Any one of them should work and within your budget.

Silence (author)2013-06-09

Is there any kind of limitation to the size of these machines ?
I have a vision of printing out entire chest pieces, helmets and such for costumes :D

ramgarden (author)Silence2013-06-10

Since most of these use a spool of ABS plastic, if you build one as big as a coffee table for example you'll need to buy a large enough spool so it doesn't run out of "ink" in the middle of a project! But yeah I don't see why there would be any limitation on how long you can make the X Y and Z rails. Until it gets so long that the rail starts to sag in the middle which would throw off the printer head by that much distance.

Silence (author)ramgarden2013-06-10

I was thinking a 2 to 3 foot square table.

garrettmikesmith (author)Silence2013-06-11

That sounds like it would be fine; I wouldn't go any higher in the Z direction though.

Another idea for chest and helmet pieces instead of a 3D printer is a thermoplastic vacuum former. The 2StoryProps guys at Makers Local 256 in Huntsville, AL made one for about $100 out of 2x4's, plywood, a shop vac, binder clips, and a broken toaster oven! They have pressed out things like Halo helmets, Daft Punk helmets, Judge Dredd helments, Monarch henchmen masks, and even the body parts for the Portal gun. It's awesome!

Silence (author)ramgarden2013-06-11

I was actually considering that option... prob is I don't know where to get any sheets of plastic for the process, and I would need a positive to start with. I've tried pepakura, didn't go far with that. I wish I didn't live in an apartment... then these projects could sit around half done till I muster the focus to finish one :P

JRPeyesatsne (author)2013-06-11

@ gyronictonic
What type of electronics / software did you use?
I have a reprap (mendel) that is a true piece of work. None of the software packages I've tried seem to like telling the motors to function.

I'm using a printrboard and repetier host to run my machine.

JRPeyesatsne (author)2013-06-11

@ Silence:
Actually, there are some fundamental size limits to 3d-printing using this method (fused deposition modeling or FDM). When the parts get too big, the plastic no longer stays hot until the next layer is put down, which means that they no longer stick together and warp out of place. The exact size varies, but anything beyond about 15" square will not work.

Alternatives include powder based printing (which is expensive for home users), resin based printing (ditto), and CNC routing/milling of parts from stock. Of the 3, CNC carving is the cheapest, although the machines themselves are still more expensive than 3d printers. The benefit is that you can use almost any material you want, so you can use cheap wood, or plastic, or wax, or aluminum. The downside is that you have some limits on what type of shapes you can actually carve.

ramgarden (author)2013-06-10

Awesome! 3D printing parts for someone else to make a 3D printer is like the friendship bread of open source hardware!

Edgar (author)2013-06-10

Looks like even I could make one!
Gone to my Blog:

davidags (author)2013-06-10

Can I buy one from you fully built. Iam from the philippines and the raw materials are not available here

killbox (author)2013-06-09

this design verses a prusa mendel, any issue with it getting out of calibration? looks like its alot less structurally braced.

gyronictonic (author)killbox2013-06-09

I put at least 50+ hours into this printer and the only thing that threw off the calibration was the belts becoming a loose. That only happened once though. Other than that, it performs like it should and the hasnt fallen apart yet. Honestly, the QU-BD MBE extruder gives me more issues than the printer itself.

inblack (author)2013-06-09

How much would this cost?

gyronictonic (author)inblack2013-06-09

Around $350 to $450 if you were to buy from the vendors I listed in the BOM and lower if you find the same material for cheap. I did my best to list everything you need so mistakes wouldn't be made, saving you from spending more money. The electronics is the most expensive part and it's hard to cut that down.

en2oh (author)2013-06-09

Great instructable. Thanks for posting. What would be the cost (assuming time/materials) to have the parts printed if I went to a Hackerspace?

How does this compare to your original printer? Do you have any examples of printed parts?


gyronictonic (author)en2oh2013-06-09

It really depends on the person or place that's printing for you. Its completely open source and they are free to charge whatever price they see fit.

It's hard to compare the quality between my original printer (Printrbot+) and this one since they both have different style of extruders installed on them. I have a few examples of printed parts on my blog (all the black parts) and I honestly think it's on par with my Printrbot+ if not a little better.

parrster (author)2013-06-09

Very professionally done instructable, kudos to you.

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